Given Cooper’s experience and chemistry with quarterback Dak Prescott, this is somewhat surprising.
Perhaps the biggest motivation to do this is a financial one, but the fact is that Cooper is coming off his least productive year as a Cowboy in 2021.
Why is that the case?
There seems to be one main reason for it, and it could be called an embarrassment of riches.
That means the Cowboys had so many offensive weapons in 2021 that Cooper’s dominance waned.
Consider the Cowboys offensive stars, and it is easy to see what happened.
A healthy Prescott spread the ball out to the following players.
1. CeeDee Lamb
CeeDee Lamb had more targets thrown his way.
He has emerged as a young talent for the Cowboys.
His numbers were not drastically higher, but he was consistently good in his second NFL season and could be ready to make the leap to WR1.
— Sohe Coop (@SoheCoop) March 8, 2022
2. Tony Pollard
Tony Pollard is turning out to be an all-purpose back.
He is capable of being an excellent runner and receiver.
Pollard had 11 more receptions and nearly 150 additional receiving yards than in 2020.
He is a huge asset for the Cowboys and Prescott.
"Tony is a multi-positional player, so we've just got to keep spreading him out, and I think we have a tremendous, tremendous attack with both him and Zeke."
HC Mike McCarthy talks about utilizing Tony Pollard.
Updates | @SleepNumber
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) March 2, 2022
3. Dalton Schultz
Dalton Schultz had four additional touchdowns in 2021.
The tight end that the Cowboys chose to apply the franchise tag to for 2022 also had almost 200 additional yards receiving.
— NFL (@NFL) March 8, 2022
The Cowboys have been looking for solid and consistent tight end play ever since Jason Whitten left, and they may have finally found it with Schultz.
An example from last year of how Dalton Schultz has become one of Dak Prescott’s most-trusted receivers.
Schultz’s route is designed to go left, but he sees the play break down and Dak scrambling to his right, so he immediately switches back to his right pic.twitter.com/8Z3GCno4vG
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) March 8, 2022
Outside Factors: Playcalling And Injuries
Kellen Moore’s playcalling also encouraged Prescott to employ a variety of receivers and offensive players in the game whereas it used to be more about the Prescott and Cooper connection.
Cooper also dealt with injuries but continued to play through them.
He had cracked ribs early in the season and also had a hamstring injury.
It’s Not Over Yet
Despite all of this, it still seems odd that the Cowboys want to part ways with Cooper.
2022 is the team’s year to make it or break it.
If there is another disappointing season, this team will be dismantled beginning with the coaching staff and continuing with the roster.
The Cowboys have gotten themselves in trouble by overpaying players who then underperform.
Cooper is performing, and he has stated that he wants to stay in Dallas.
He didn’t mince words when he said:
“I love being a Dallas Cowboy. I love everything about it. I think about it almost every day. Just the aura of being a Dallas Cowboy you can’t beat it. I want to be a Dallas Cowboy for life.”
Amari Cooper: “I love being a Dallas Cowboy. I love everything about it. I think about it almost every day. … Just the aura of being a Dallas Cowboy, you can’t beat it. I want to be a Dallas Cowboy for life.”
— D4KSB (@D4KSB) March 4, 2022
Lamb has publicly said he wants Cooper to stay.
He calls Cooper a mentor who has helped him elevate his game.
Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb makes stern pitch for team to keep Amari Cooper
USA TODAY pic.twitter.com/68o2WGiu2y
— Law Nation Sports (@LawsNation) March 1, 2022
The 2022 offseason has been unpredictable so no one really knows what the Cowboys are thinking or planning to do, but we will find out soon enough.